tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN May 4, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT
radar screen unbeen intosts to anybody as a lone wolf or as we have been reporting in the last few hours, anderson cooper show, they don't believe that he acted alone. all of these are questions, i say, that have yet to be answered. but obviously it does appear that this arrest may have been rushed. >> begin, for the last 30 minutes we've been following breaking news on cnn. an arrest has been made in a failed bombing attack in new york's times square. the suspect was arted trying to leave the country at jfk airport. we don't know where he was going and we do not know, we don't have any official confirmation if this was the u.s. citizen of pakistani origin that was named as a potential suspect. the person who bought that nissan pathfinder that was filled with explosive and propane gas. my colleagues will take it from
here on. keep it right here on cnn for all the latest developments. >> big development this is hour in the hunt for a would-be bomber. cnn learned that an arrest has been made in connection to the failed car bombing in new york's times square on saturday night. here's what we know right now. according to law enforcement sources, an arrest was made at jfk airport in new york around midnight local time. that was just about an hour ago. the suspect was trying to leave the country. we do not know his intended destination. the identity of the person who was arrested has not been released. the potential suspect was the buyer of the suv car that was found in times square over the weekend, fitted with a car bomb. it was a cash transaction, no
paperwork. we understand the car was sold three weeks ago in a parking lot. a source says the buyer is a naturalized u.s. citizen from pakistan. investigators are looking at more than one person in connection with the unsuccessful bombing. drew griffin is covering developments for us. drew? >> the arrest apparently made as this person was trying to flee. what we don't know is where he was trying to go. we have been getting talk of a news kafrns that will take place in the wee hours of the morning. we have not been able to confirm that. my colleagues are out and about confirming the arrest at jfk. jeanne meserve loss confirming that, are trying to find out the main question now, if we do have a main suspect, is this the suspect the same person who drove this vehicle into times
square? is this one in the same person who loaded this vehicle with the explosive material or if, don if, there are more potential people that they're trying to arrest who may be involved with this. these are the questions that we all are asking. >> thanks, drew. let's bring in jeanne meserve. what more do you know? >> we do know that this individual who they named as a possible suspect earlier this evening was someone who was a u.s. citizen of pakistani origin. we do not know if that is the same individual that has been arrested tonight. but we were also told that in addition to that one person, that potential suspect, they were looking at the possibility of other people being involved. also, obviously, a lot of discussion and curiosity about the international links here. what i was told is that there
were in fact some indications that there may have been some communications overseas. but the officials i talked to throughout the day were being very cautious about links to overseas saying that they can take any number of forms. it could be that some individual who they were interested in was making a lot of telephone calls. but the calls might not be to anybody with any sort of terror link. it could be, for instance, some sort of family member. so there's tl was an abundance of caution when talking to reporters today about what the possibilities were there. i will say that we did have the sense today that the tempo here was picking up. a lot of the people who ordinarily talk us to and give us some information were absolutely shutting down. an indication that either they'd been reprimanded from above, that they were compromising investigative leads or that something was afoot and, in fact, they were bringing this to some kind of resolution. as to whether this is the only arrest, i wish we had the answer at this point in time. we don't know who else they might be looking for at this
point in time. >> just to recap, a man was arrested at jfk international airport in new york. we understand about an hour ago. we don't know where this man was heading. but we do understand that he was attempting to take a flight overseas. and, of course, depart the united states. let's just return to drew griffin who is following this story for us in new york. drew, if you will, please just recap the information as we understand it regarding the sale of this car. >> reporter: three weeks ago this car apparently was being sold on craigslist, you know, a computerized kind of a meeting ground on the internet. a man in connecticut said he sold this car for $1,800 cash in the parking lot of a store, of a shopping mall.
what's interesting is there was no paperwork. it was a cash deal. and the person drove away. apparently the seller didn't think anything of it until he was contacted by the police that his vehicle that he sold may have been involved. police knew that very early on who was registered to this car. it is the person who had owned the car and sold it and they had ruled him out as a suspect almost immediately. but that is how this took place. so apparently this car was purchased three weeks ago. i have talked as others have talked to bomb experts, atf agents who have studied this kind of stuff. and one even referred to this entire scenario as a two weeker. in other words, it probably took about two weeks to put together this bomb and this plot. it wasn't done overnight. nor was it done over months and
months of planning. that seems to fit this timing of the purchase of this vehicle. >> drew, you mentioned we're expecting a press announcement within the next ten minutes. do we know what we may expect to hear? jeanne meserve was saying a few moments from washington that the flow of information from the authorities has tightened up over the last 24 hours. >> yeah, it's tightened up quite a bit. and to answer your question, i thought there would be a news conference at 1:00. we haven't heard a peep since i made that remark which was about 40 minutes ago. so obviously this is in flux. what we thought we would have is a news conference this morning announcing the arrest. and we thought that would happen earlier rather than later. but as they are trying to get all their information together, this time slides. what is interesting about the tightness of the leaks or the information coming out of this is new york just went through a potential terrorist attack
sizeable attack with azazzi. it was to be one of the biggest terrorist plots since 9/1e6789 and there was some feeling of police agencies in the states that the arrest was rushed and that may have allowed potential suspects and potential evidence to scatter. i think they were being very, very cautious with the entire investigation and the last day, very cautious as they knew they were moving in on this arrest. >> let's bring in tom fuentes on that point. he is the former fbi assistant director. he joins us from the line from colombia. this does seem to me perhaps like a rather rapid arrest. you would have expected it in a case like this? perhaps a suspect would have been tailed for a little longer? >> yeah, i think they would have and that was probably the
intention to do the surveillance a little longer. but they don't have much choice if the person is going to leave the country shortly. they had to do what they had to do in that situation. i'm not surprised that they were able to identify a suspect that quickly because they had the vehicle and they were able to quickly get the records. that vehicle identification number has been used to solve these cases in a hurry in many situations. the first world trade center bombing and the oklahoma city bombing, in both those cases the rear axel of the truck carrying the explosives was blown away but when the investigators found that 5:00 he will they were able to get the identification number from that vehicle, from the axel. they were able to get the dmv records and quickly locate the car rent allocation for both those trucks in the world trade center one in '93, that led them to another cell. and in 1995, it led them almost immediately to tim mcveigh's
name. so the vehicle identification numbers when you have them in a vehicle like that are going to lead you very quickly to the owner of the car. if that car is stolen, then that's going to add, obviously, an obstacle. but in this situation, that's what they're looking at is -- that they would have been surveilling the individual that purchased that car and tried to see from there if he had other people involved in it, check his e-mail and his cell phone records and regular telephone records, possibly talk to work associates or other neighbors. and find out more about the individual and see what's hiding somewhere that would make it even more suspicious that he possibly was involved in this. >> tom, we know the car was rigged with a propane and gasoline bomb. it, of course, didn't go off. from the information you have, what does that tell you about the sophistication of that plot
and perhaps who may have been behind it? >> they were not very sophisticated. they didn't have the correct wiring to make it explode. when you're trying to explode a propane tank like that. they're designed to be very difficult to have explode deliberately so that people don't blow themselves up in their backyard when they're barbecuing. this is the type of tank used in a grill, let's say, or in recreational vehicles for heating and gas stoves and things like that. so they're not designed to easily explode or we would have a lot of people killing themselves after that one. so you have to know what you're doing. apparently not really have that much expertise to be able to get past the limitations of exploding tanks. >> ok, tom, we'll leave you
there. within the last hour or so, an arrest has been made at jfk international airport in new york. that arrest following the failed car bombing attempt in new york's times square on saturday night. within the next few minutes, we're expecting a press conference from the department of justice, the attorney general of the united states eric holder is expected to be giving that press conference. we thought it may have kicked off about 15 minutes ago. we are hoping that it will commence very shortly. we'll bring that live you to as and when we have it. let's just return to drew griffin now who is following this story for us from our new york bureau. drew, what other thoughts do you have at this stage? >> reporter: i'm sorry, dipt hear the question. >> what other information do you have at this stage? >> i think we pretty much exhausted it. we're all just trying to confirm where the flight was that this person was trying to go to. of course, we're trying to get a confirmation on this person's exact name. we do believe we have the name.
in fact, we do believe that we are out in front of his house right now awaiting confirmation that this is the person. we believe he's 30 years old. what we don't know and what tom is confirming is we don't know if he is the exact person who drove this vehicle into times square. i think that is one of the crucial questions that are going to be asked at this news conference. is this the suspect who actually loaded that vehicle up and drove it into times square and attempted to blow up a bunch of people down here in times square on saturday night? that's the key question. the second question, did anybody help him? did anybody know he was doing this? or did he have any help from overseas whether it is guidance, financial or any kind of period of time you'll help from overseas to do this. these are questions we all hope to get answered at this news conference. >> yeah, you were saying a few minutes ago that flow of
information from the investigating body here really has been tightened up over the last 24 hours. but with the information that we had received by that point, do we get the sense that this was an international plot maybe or certainly wasn't? >> you know, the speculation changed hour for hour as we were going through this. we thought this must be a lone wolf. we're getting indications there was no known international context. then it started to become a little more interested the international. there was the pakistani taliban group who was taking credit for it. initially that was discounted. then it was being looked at more seriously. the fact of the matter is, tom, we still really do not know much about this person, the motives, why he did this, if he did this, what kind of cause he may be supporting. we just are at a roadblock. i think we are at a roadblock
because police have, quite frankly, done a pretty darn good job of accelerating through this vehicle and making this arrest without a lot of leaks coming out of their investigation. >> but the focus of the story is up in connecticut now, right? >> yeah. that's where we believe this man lived. that's why we now know he bought the car. he has been arrested out at jfk. now we know he was arrested at jfk trying to flee the country. so i think we'll focus on how he was living there. if this is the person i'm thinking about now, he's lived in connecticut for quite some time. we'll have to see what his neighbors knew, friends knew, what circles he was traveling in. whether or not he belonged to a group or whether or not he didn't belong to any groups. that is all you have to be told. >> let's return to tom fuentes. the former fbi assistant
director who is listening to our conversation on the line from colombia. what would you expect the authorities to be asking the suspect if they have in their custody right now? how you would expect them to be treating him ? >> they'll be trying to determine his identity. they will also be getting authorization to get dna samples, take his fingerprint and be able to start the comparison of the forensic material removed from the vehicle and from the explosive devices to see, for example, his fingerprints on the propane tanks or possibly material from his scan or his hair which will enable a dna match and make it very difficult for him to deny he had anything to do with the danks. obviously, it will be easy to link him to the car because they can prove they bought it. but you want to link him to the explosive device itself. you know, by physical evidence,
first of all. they also want to ask him if he'll get the information as to anyone else who may have been involved with it. was he led by someone overseas? i don't get the sense that this is a major international plot. he may have some connections in pakistan if he's from pakistan. he may have, you know, people losing contact with him around the world. people that share his philosophy about wanting to really conduct a bombing operation. but in terms of how wiring the tank was, it doesn't seem like a real sophisticated clock. also in this case, from the beginning it had very close similarities. i was saying on cnn last sunday morning that about three years ago in london, you had propane tanks and gasoline plates in a car which km wwhich was crowded front of a discotheque in
london. others involved in that plot dreef the car through the front glass window in scotland. and in that case, it turned out to be pakistani medical doctors. that is just another coincidence. maybe this is way atop a copycat expectation. >> i'll return to you in a moment. within the last hour and a half or so, investigative authorities made an arrest at jfk international airport in new york of a man they wish to speak to following the failed car bombing attempt in new york's times square on saturday nichlt we know this man was trying to fly abroad. we don't know where to. we have reporters on this story in connecticut where this car was bought three years ago. we also have correspondence in new york and in washington, d.c.
we're on the line with tom fuentes, former assistant director from the line. tom, this arrest was made an hour and a half ago. how quickly would you expect the questioning to commence in a circumstance like this? you would expect them to be taken into custody? taking him into some kind of police facility or with the question commence immediately? well, it will probably get him into the office somewhere. they'll be either driving him to one of the federal buildings in brooklyn or possibly the federal lockup in manhattan. that may take time just to transport him to that location and then, of course, get him in and go through the processing and then get them to give up parental rights. i wouldn't expect that to occur immediately while they're in the car unless the person just immediately wants to start talking about it.
>> we'll just leave it there. we're expecting a press conference from the department of justice in washington, d.c. that's expected at 1:30 a.m. local time which is just over ten minutes from now. we understand the attorney general eric holder will be leading that press conference with the latest on this investigation and the arrest that we have been reporting. here's what we know right now. an arrest was made at jfk international airport at around midnight local time. that is about an hour and 20 minutes ago. the suspect was trying to left country. we don't yet know his intended test nation. the identity of the person who was arrested hasn't yet been released. the authorities are keeping all these details very close to the chest. so it's unclear whether it was the man who was named as a potential suspect just a few hours ago. that potential suspect was the buyer of the suv car that was found in times square over the
weekend. fitted with a car bomb. but it was a cash transaction with no paperwork. so he is not listed as the financial owner of the car. he was bought for $1,800 in cash. no records or papers were exchanged. we understand the car was sold three weeks ago in a porking lot in connecticut. our source says the buyer is a naturalized u.s. citizen from pakistan. investigators are looking at more than one person in connection with the unsuccessful bombing. let's cross over to deborah who is following this angle of the story for us, trying to chase down the man that purchased the car and os the man that is currently in custody. beb are a, what more do you have for us? >> we can tell that you this is the neighborhood. we're in the neighborhood where authorities believe he lived. what's interesting is all of our
various locations linked to the car that was recovered in times square are really within a 10 to 15 mile radius. for example, the parking lot where the car was purchased. the transaction was made between the buyer and teller. again, this happening on craigslist. the boter -- the teller gave the buyer the keys to the car. where the license plate came from. that was at a scrap yard a for the distance away. the scrap yard really not even secure, very easy for somebody to just get in there and take whatever they needed. that's why thrts believe the license plate on the car kaum from. so all of these little pieces that were late to the car in times square are really about an hour and a half outside in connecticut. and that's where authorities are focusing their investigation. they believe that's where the man lived and that this is the area that he was most familiar
with which may be why he arranged to buy the car in this area and why he also got his license plate from a nearby scrap yard. that man was arrested around midnight new york time, connecticut time, i should say. he was arrested as he was trying to leave the united states, destination ate this point unclear. >> where are you at the moment? >> we're in a rez debtial neighborhood. we're sort of tracking those down right now. the justice department is going have a press conference in a little while. while there is some indication as to what the gentleman's name, is we're'going to release that just yet until there is absolute confirmation and that confirmation we expect to come from the justice department. so while the name is floating out there, we're going to err on the side of caution. >> we sure understand that.
thank you. >> you have been able to make contact with the person that sold the car and what part have they played in the investigation? >> reporter: that's what's very interesting. we were speaking to law enforcement sources earlier. we discovered the car was bought on craigslist. the deal was arranged. it was an $1,800 cash deal. that means there was no record of the transaction. a very anonymous way to purchase a vehicle. all you have to do is show up with the money and then you get the registration and car keys and off you drive. so that happened in a parking lot of a grocery store in this area. authorities were looking at various embarrass. they were also looking at telephone records, communications between the two individuals. again, the person who wanted to buy that nissan pathfinder that was used to care i didn't think bomb into times square and the
buyer, the person who was ready to get rid of that car. so that was a connection that they were tracking down. it appears that the man that they arrested trying to leave the country tonight at jfk airport, he is the one who purchased the car. it's not clear, don, when he bought that ticket or where he was going to. again, all that might become clear in just a short moment. >> okay, deborah. also, i understand there was an interesting situation regarding the license plates on this car. am i correct in thinking that they look the license plates that came with the car whether it was bought? >> well, that's exactly right. they did not match. this is one of the big clues. one of the things investigators did have is everything that was in that car and that included the license plate, the license plate did not match the vehicle identification number. so that's was a starting point. believe it or not, there was a
sticker on the back of the car that identified it as having come from the connecticut area. again, the two states border one another. so an hour and a half outside new york city. and so authorities were knocking on the door of the dealer saying, hey, hey, we think that the car at least originated from the dealership and that dealer was able to at least find the perfecter. so again what authorities have been doing is working backwards to get to the point that they are now which is the ofrt of that suspect. >> okay, deborah, thank you very much. the u.s. state where this nissan pathfinder was bought and told on craigslist for a cash sum of just $1,800. this exchange was made outside of a grocery store in a porking lot. there were no records and no paperwork exchanged. but the investigating team were able to track the sale of the car back to there and that is
where a significant part as the investigation currently remains. of course, within the last hour and a half though, we've had an arrest made at jfk international airport. a suspect, a man we believe that bought that car was attempting to travel overseas. and that was where he was picked up just an hour and a half ago. within the next few minutes, we're expecting a press conference from the attorney general in washington, d.c. we'll bring that you to live when we have it. let's return to drew griffin in new york. drew, recap the situation for us. >> reporter: the latest news, as you said, an arrest has been made. this person apparently trying to flee and perhaps flee the country. arrested at jfk sometime this evening around midnight. we do believe the police were
wise to this guy. we don't know how long they have been surveilling him, trying to determine if there were any other potential suspects or people he was working with. we heard from tom fuentes that they most likely had been monitoring and tracking his communication to try to determine just that. but keep in mind just how serious this event was and catastrophic it could have been, don. and how things have just come together so quickly along with some great police work that may have led to this capture of this person within just a few days. i mean at 6:30 on saturday night, there was a vehicle in times square set to blow up. it didn't. and that began to unravel as the first clues came in with the license plate, vehicle, vin numbers, tracing down where this was purchased. all that was going on while police were trying to make sure that there wasn't going to be a second attempt or a third
attempt or this was a roost for some other larger event going on. but all of that was now culminated now in this person's arrest, a person we believe to be 30 years old, a naturalized citizen who was living in the tri-state area and apparently was somehow involved in this terrorist potential attack. >> drew, times square is very busy even just on a normal week day. describe for us what it was like on this saturday evening at 6:30 p.m.? what kind of people were there? and how bad, realistically o could this have been? >> well, if you've ever been in time square -- i just walked through times square on my way here tonight. i don't even know what day it is. but 11:00 at night, it is packed. and it is mostly packed with tourists from all over the world. there's a joke in this town that the only place you will not find new yorkers is in times square.
it is so mobbed with tourists. at all hours of the night. and we're talking about families, people with young kids, men and women out on dates, us about loads of people coming and going to the various broadway shows. 6:30 saturday, particularly packed. you have the additional weekend crowd that as people are heading to a short dinner before they take in a broadway show or perhaps rapping up the day buying souvenirs, i mean it is packed with pedestrians. you've seen some of the surveyance cameras that police released, snapshots of that vehicle going through times square. you see these pictures where people are just literally nobodied around this car unbeknownst so them. this car is carrying the gasoline cans and propane kans ands firecrackers all set to go off. they're waiting for that car to get out of the way so they can all cross the street. so the people was there.
whether or not this was indeed an amateur bomb that really would or would not do a lot of damage, thank goodness we were not able to find that out. we have come to learn that the bomb was so poorly put together that even if it did explode as it was designed to, that it may have created more of a fireball than anything else. but certainly there would have been people hurt in this. >> jur absolutely right. times square is tacked even at the quietest of times. i want to recap for our viewers the state of play. as suk see on your screen, we're expecting a preference conference very shortly. that press conference will be called by the attorney general eric holder from the department of justice in washington. that press conference has been called for pretty much now 1:30 local time in washington, d.c. covering this story for us, we have drew griffin who we've just been hearing from in new york. jeanne meserve has the latest from our washington, d.c.,
bureau. we have deborah furyek in connecticut where a significant part of the investigation is being conducted. that is where this car was bought for $1,800. we also have tom fuentes on the line. too. with the attempted car bombing in the new york area saturday, an american citizen was taken into custody at jfk airport in new york as he attempted to board a flight to dubai. since the plot was first uncovered on saturday night, the fbi, prosecutors, intelligence lawyers in the national security vision of the justice department which mr. crist heads, the united states attorney's offices in manhattan and connecticut. they have worked night and day to find out who was responsible for a deadly attack had it been successful. over the course of the day today, we have gathered significant additional evidence that led to tonight's arrests
which was made by agents from the department of home land security's customs and border protection. this investigation is on going as are our attempts to gather useful intelligence and consider to pursue a number of leads. but it's clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill americans. fbi agents are working with their state and local counterparts in new york, connecticut, and other jurisdictions to gather evidence and i wintelligence. we're also waiting for members of the security team to make sure we use every available resource the united states has to bring anyone responsible to justice. we continue to gather leads in this investigation and it's important that the american people remain vigilant. the vehicle in times square was first noticed on saturday by a citizen who reported it to
authorities. as always, any american should report it to the local law enforcement agencies. as i've said, this investigation is on going. it is multifaceted. and it is aggressive. as we move forward, we will focus on not just holding those responsible for it accountable but also on obtaining any intelligence about terrorist organizations overseas. because of the fast moving nature of this investigation, i am not able to make any further information public at this time. but the american people should know that we are deploying every resource available and we will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice. >> that was the u.s. attorney general eric holder conducting a
very brief press conference. but he did give us the information that we all had been hoping for for the last hour and a half. and that is that a 30-year-old u.s. citizen from pakistan, fisal shazad was arrested as attempting to board a flight from new york to dubai. the attorney general said that the aim of this car bomb was to conduct a deadly attack in times square. he said there is no doubt that the tame of this situation was to kill americans. the details that he had have significant evidence in this case and also said that investigation was on going. the bulk of the work today was really conducted by the homeland security customs and border protection unit and that culminated in the arrest of shazad an hour and a half ago. we have reporters and correspondents covering this story from many angles for you. let's return to drew griffin, if
we can. i believe drew griffin is standing by in new york for us. drew, gich what mr. holder has just said, what are your thoughts? >> reporter: eric holder didn't give us much at all. that makes me believe this arrest may have been rushed. they did not probably want to arrest this person when they made the arrest and that as eric holder said, this investigation is on going. there's still gathering leads. and i think the fact that he didn't lay out in detail exactly what they have or what they believe the motivation was here, what other connections they have means that this is, indeed, done john, sill very actively on going here. it doesn't answer any questions at this point. the most striking one is who else is out there, if anybody, who's involved with this guy? >> you're right. all he gave us was the name which manufacture us knew.
but it was a brief press conference lasting barely 90 seconds. of course, there were no questions either. let's bring in our correspondent who has been following this story for us from islamabad in pakistan. of course, the man arrested is a 30-year-old u.s. citizen from pakistan. what details do you have from your end? >> reporter: well, this is news. although very little information. this is information neither the pakistani government or northern pakistani people wanted to hear, another apparent terrorist plot linked to pakistan. this individual pakistani-american dissent i spoke to a pakistani government official and he's doing what the rest of the government is doing, waiting to see how this plays out. waiting for more information. this is what he told me. this man is no longer pakistani. he's an american and if he's
guilty, they should punish him. it doesn't matter where they're from. they're all terrorists and should be punished. this is a pakistani government official trying to distance pakistan from this investigation. but the fact remains, over the years, especially after 9/11, pakistan has become a sanctuary, safe haven for a variety of militant groups, extremist groups. of course, at this point it was absolutely no indication that this man is linked to one of these militants. a lot of terror plots are linked back to pakistan. go back to last year. the man who was arrested in connection with the plot to attack the new york subway system. investigators said he was from afghanistan but he married a pakistani woman and spent a lot
of time here in pakistan. according to the investigators, the plot was denied. a pakistani-american was arrested in connection with the mumbai attacks, the 2005 bombing in london. you look at these types of terrorist attacks and terrorist plots. and over the last years, the national inclination is to question whether this man indeed is a link to one of these militant groups who are here in pakistan. that is too early to say right now. john? >> there were a number of claims made earlier in the week regarding this attempted bombing. any of them from pakistan? >> well, there were two videos posted online. one of them is reportedly the voice of kari hussein. this is a pakistan-taliban
commander taking responsibility for this attempted attack. but there's absolutely no indication that that was indeed the voice of this person. even if it wasn't, there is no evidence to say that they were attempted to this talk. when you talk to analyst ands the past attacks are the pakistani taliban. they haven't had to reach beyond this region. and then on sunday, you suddenly had a videotape emerging from the current leader of the pakistan taliban earlier believed to have been killed by a u.s. jones strike last week. instel jens officials confirmed he survive that attack. in that videotape, there was no reference to this attempted bombing in new york. but there will be attacks in the coming weeks and months in u.s. cities. according to the video sholt in early april, so, you have the
pakistani taliban making the claims in the past. they have made claims in an attempt to inflate their stature. but, again, no evidence that the pakistani taliban is linked to the ttempt is linked to the bombing. >> we're working with extremely limited investigation here. the attorney general gave us three details. he was a 30-year-old citizen from pakistan. he also told us that this man was attempting to take a flight from new york to dubai. might that be significant in any way? >> well, it could. it could. again, i hesitate to say this. it could mean that he is headed on his way to pakistan.
there are no direct flights to dubai. you have to take a flight to islamabad. another link to pakistan is 9/11. one of the members of cell that was involved in noting the 9/11 attacks, last year evidence surfaced that one of the members of the hummer cell shortly before the 9/11 attacks took a flight to pakistan via dubai. it's much too early to say where this man was going. obviously investigators could have that, that information. but that's a common route when people coming from the u.s. heading to pakistan can go to dubai. >> at this point what dialogue do you expect to take place between the u.s. government and pakistani government, if any? >> well, he is
pakistani-american. i would expect the u.s. investigators to contact pakistani government officials, pakistani intelligence angencies here immediately. it hasn't been the best of relationships over the years between u.s. intelligence and pakistani intelligence. over the past year that relationship has improved. you hear from senior officials on both sides that are cooperating more with one another. but without question, now that we know this individual is pakistani-american, now that we know he was headed to this region, you can expect a call from u.s. investigators to pakistani government officials, pakistani intelligence officials. >> okay. we'll leave it there for the moment. let's go aside and bring another reporter's insight. it was a few moments ago that we got a few more details from the
u.s. attorney general eric holder. let's listen in again to what he had to say. >> earlier this evening, fisal shzad was taken into custody at jfk airport in new york was he attempted to board eye flight from dubai. the fbi, prosecutors, intelligence lawyers and the national security division of the justice department which mr. chris heads, the united states attorneys offices in manhattan and connecticut along with the new york police department have worked night and day to find out who was responsible for what would have been a deadly attack had it been successful. over the course of the day to day, we have gathered significant additional evidence that led to tonight's arrest which was made by agents from the department of homeland
security's customs and border protection. this investigation is on going. as are our attempts to gather useful intelligence and we continue to pursue a number of leads. but it's clear that the intent behind this terrorist act was to kill americans. fbi agents are working to get evidence and intelligence related to this case. we're also coordinating with other members of the president's national security team to insure that we use every available resource the united states has to bring anyone responsible to justice. we continue to gather leads in this investigation and it's important that the american people remain vigilant. the vehicle in times square was first noticed on saturday by a citizen who reported it to authorities. as always, any american who
notices suspicious activity should report it to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. now as i've said, this investigation is on going. it is multifaceted and it is aggressive. as we move forward, we will focus on not just holding those responsible for it accountable, but also on obtaining any intelligence about terrorist organizations overseas. because of the fast-moving nature of this investigation, i am not able to make any further information public atmosphere this time. the american people should know we're deploying every resource available and we will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice. >> the words there of the u.s. attorney general mr. eric holder. we have correspondents on this story for new new york, connecticut, and washington, d.c. and we're also joined on the line by tom fuentes, former fbi
assistant director. tom, you're very well versed in what to say and what not to say in situations like this. reading between the lines, what else did you get out of mr. holder's brief press conference? >> you don't have to read between the lines. he doesn't say we got our man, have a nice day. he says everyone involved will be brought to justice. so all of those involved will be brought to justice. he's clear lly speaking in plurs as if there are more than one subjects involved. to me that, was the important factor. he didn't say the case is solved. we got the evidence for the prosecution. he is saying everyone involved will be brought to justice. >> something else that he very pointed will he said. the point of the attack is to kill americans. you well know in times square is a very international part of the world. many, many tourists from all over the world go there.
why do you think he was so pointed in saying it twooz kill americans? >> well, i think the expectation is out of hundreds of people on that sidewalk, there will be at least a few americans among them. but to make it clear to american people that the threat is against everyone and this is obviously against americans or to be able to commit an attack on american soil. so, you know, it's a statement to make to inform the american people that we're trying to stop them. the authorities are trying to stop them from being harmed. but, yes, it's a very diverse population. >> take us behind the scenes to the investigation. what you would expect to be happening at this point? i mean eastern time it's approaching 2:00 in the morning. what kind of personnel would you expect to be working on this case and what would they actually be doing?
>> well, they have an entire new york city joint terrorism task force, fbi agents from new york city police department, state police, all the other authorities that are on the various shifts. so there will literally be thousands of agents and police officers following leads in this investigation ultimately. in additionally, the fbi will be following leads through the fbi office and taliban office to request information about this individual, where is he from? family members? any affiliation? any prior implications in terms of being involved with one of the terrorist groups in pakistan. and because it's going to be a terrorist prosecution, probably in new york city, the world will be going through the fbi to pakistani national police and to the director general kosa and
his staff in pakistan so the evidence can be obtained and then used in presenting the prosecution here in the united states. >> they've had shazad from pakistan in custody for about an hour and 50 minutes now. how you would expect that interrogation, shall we say, to be going? how hard will they be leaning on him to give up smfgs? >> they will take his picture and fingerprints and have a court authorization now to obtain dna samples from him which can compare to materials obtained by the investigators last saturday. so that part of the investigation will continue and they'll involve him indirectly. he'll have the right to remain silent.
he may do so. we don't know that. we'll find that out down the road here. but, again, pending on the forensic evidence, there may be some very compelling evidence linking him to the actual explosive device. >> we'll leave it there, tom. thank you for your continuing insight and analysis on this developing story. here's what we know right now. according to law enforcement sources, an arrest was made at jfk airport around midnight local time. that's about an hour and three quarters ago. we now know that the suspect, a 30-year-old u.s. citizen from pakistan was trying to leave the country. the attorney general has told us that he was attempting to board a flight from jfk international to dubai. where the man, we understand, recently purchased the suv that was found in times square over the weekend. that had been fitted and rigged
with a crude propane and gasoline car bomb. he was named as a potential suspect hours before his arrest. we know that he had bought the vehicle in a cash transaction with no paperwork, no records and no papers. that transaction taking place for just $1800 in cash. the car was purchased from a seller own craigslist three weeks ago. investigators are looking at more than one person in connection with what thankfully was an unsuccessful bombing. let's join our reporter who is following this story for us from islamabad in pakistan. >> reporter: don, this arrest is the latest in a long line of terror plots and terror attacks that have been linked back to pakistan.
if you go back over the last few years, you know why there is a tendency by a lot of people to link individuals arrested in two militant groups in pakistan. late last year the d.c. five, five young americans of middle eastern dissent who according to investigators arrived here from the virginia area, arrived here in pakistan to wage jihad against u.s. forces in afghanistan. those individuals on trial here in pakistan. again, late last year zazzi arrested in connection with a plot to attack the new york subway system. he was an afghan citizen. according to investigators, he spent a lot of time here in pakistan. again, according to investigators, that's where the plot was devised. also david headley, pakistani-american, arrested in connection with the mum buy attacks, the 2005 london bombing. three of those four individuals
british or pakistani. that's why the natural tendency is to listen to what eric holder said, hear that this man is faced with which is not in question if, indeed, this man is linked to one of the many, many, many i will mid atlantic groups who are using pakistan as a sanctuary. it's way too early to say if, indeed, this man is connected to extremist groups. the fact is over the years pakistan has been a safe haven for al qaeda or militant groups for the pakistani taliban, the afghan taliban. it is washington's position right now, the obama administration said this over and over again. the middleton group in pakistan in the friday region along the afghan border are plotting to attack u.s. targets on u.s. soil. again, it's too early to say if this man was linked to one of those plots. but, again, look for much of the focus of this investigation
which started in times square in new york city to shift to pakistan with the identity now of this man a pakistani-american. john? >> thanks very much. we just got new information while you've been speaking. this coming to us from the federal law official. he is a 30-year-old citizen from pakistan, was naturalized recently as a u.s. citizen. just pretty much a year ago. 17th, 2009. immigrations and cuff omz enforcemented had this photo because it changed in status. when his name came up in this investigation, the investigators were able to take the photo to the man you saw in the car up in connecticut. we understand from the attorney general that this man was attempting to board a flight about two hours ago from jfk international airport in new york to dubai.
now he had been to dubai before. he left for dubai in june of last year. june of '09 and returned from dubai this year on february the third. he was saying to us earlier that dubai may not have been his final destination. dubai is a very well known transit hub in the middle east. and actually he was saying that he's not entirely sure that you're able to fly directly from the united states or new york in particular to pakistan. now this is, of course, only speculation that pakistan may have been the final destination. it would be a well-traveled route from someone to fly from new york to pakistan via dubai. let's bring in don lemon now who is following our coverage from our new york bureau and to join us now with more. don? >> actually, we've been covering this story since it started late saturday knight right after our newscast in the atlanta area. it's very interesting when you look at the clues and you look
at the situation that is unfolded here with just over -- just within the last couple of days. and talking to investigators as recently as a couple hours ago, they were sure even as i reported to night at 8:00 p.m. eastern, they were sure many of them that investigators knew who this man was just from the videotape, just from video cameras at that are stationed in that area. and as our drew griffin has been telling you, he walked here on his way to the time warner center to the cnn center here as he walked through times square, you could see the presence of officers. you can see the number of cameras that are there. and i want to talk to drew. drew, if i can bring you in here. talking to investigators, they said that initially this was a device that was sort of crude device. but this guy certainly left enough clues for investigators to be able to figure out who he, is drew, using craigslist. they were able to trace him with an ip address. having become a naturalized
citizen recently, having his picture there. they were able to take his picture to the person he bought the pathfinder from on craigslist, doing it in times square where there are a number of cameras. putting fertilizer in the car that was not an explosive grade fertilizer. he left behind a lot of clues and he didn't carry this off very well, drew. >> you know, we can't get in his head, don. i would assume that this man thought most of the evidence was going to be burned up. he didn't realize, perhaps, that the vin number, that vehicle identification numbers are on multiple parts of a car. even if do you burn up a car, they're going to be able to find that vin number. he thought, perhaps, by stealing the license plate that would throw off police initially to him because, of course, they'd have surveillance cameras of the license plate. the license plate would not match the vehicle. and i really think that he probably thought his timers
would work. you know, the actual event, don, if you look at it washgsz quite rushed. he pulls over into times square. the flashers are still on. i talked to one bomb expert who said this was obviously not supposed to go like this. what is the point of having these clocks and these timers if it's not to park the car, get out of the car, walk away and as this one bomb expert told me, go home and watch this all take place on cnn. so in many ways when we say these amateurish, it was because it appears he didn't know what he was doing. in many other ways he was very dangerous because he was able to bring this highly explosive material right into the center of new york, right next to all these people from all over the world and actually did think it would work. >> as the attorney general said they were going to look for clues, they said this is multifaceted and aggressive.